Athlete of the Month

The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.

You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought.  When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.

Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.

Fleet Feet Menlo Park is proud to sponsor this month's athlete who embodies the spirit of Team Sheeper. We believe running can change everything, that an active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle, and that we all have an athlete hidden within.

Jessica Smith

June 2014 Athlete of the Month

How many hours a week do you typically train?

Thanks to coach Tim, I have a pretty full training schedule these days! I normally follow a three week cycle where I have two big weeks at 25-30 hours per week and then a rest week at 12-15hrs. During a big week I typically swim 5-7 hours, bike 12-16 hours, and run 6-7 hours.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to a beginner triathlete?

My best advice for beginners is train with people! When you first get started in the sport, it can be a bit overwhelming. Teammates can help you figure out the best gear, how to train for your next event, and of course will keep you company along the way. Even as a pro triathlete I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this team! My teammates get me out of bed in the morning and push me beyond what I thought was possible. When I think back to the most fun and/or epic training sessions, they all include my Team Sheeper teammates. And wow, there have been a lot of epic sessions!

How do you set your goals?

When I started working with Tim, Mike, and Ian last year, we first looked at what I really want to get out of my triathlon career. What are my “big dreams”? We’ll call that point B. Then we looked at where I was currently, we’ll call that point A. Next it was just figuring out how to get from point A to point B, sounds easy right? In order to keep me progressing and motivated, we set small, more attainable goals – first for each key training session, then for each race, and finally for each season. Of course I have met some of my goals more quickly that I thought I would and others have taken a little longer. The goals are really just the guide. They continue to evolve as I do. I mean, when I first started triathlon my ULTIMATE goal was to finish an Ironman. Now I want to win one! ?

Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, websites, etc)?

There are two resources I would recommend to everyone. The first is Training Peaks. If you are serious about progressing in triathlon, this tool is an absolute must. I started using TPs about a year ago and it has made a huge impact on my training. Now if I get sick, injured, or over tired, I can review the data (or let’s be honest, Ian Hersey can) and figure out what I did that led to the issue and correct it for future training. I can also track my progress and set realistic goals for future workouts and races. It does take awhile to learn all the functionality, but I’m sure Ian Hersey can help with all that! He’s the TP’s expert! The second resource I would recommend is a book called Mindset, by Carol S. Dweck. Since reading this, having a “growth mindset” has kind of become my mantra. It doesn’t matter if I have a bad training day or race result. I’m in this sport for the long haul and I know with hard work and determination I will continue to progress. The book provides a great message for every aspect of life, but I found it particularly meaningful for triathlon!

Where do you draw your inspiration?

It’s impossible not to be inspired by all my amazing Team Sheeper teammates! All our athletes who regularly complete the Epic ride and ultimate run, or ride solo across the country, or stand atop the podium at every race they enter, or train their tails off and then rush home to spend the rest of the day with their kids, or balance hectic work schedules to squeeze in every extra minute of training possible, or change careers so they can be more focused on health and wellness, or spend nights in their garage increasing their bike power and fitness, or simply show up and giving 100% at all their training sessions – you keep me going! We have a team of fun, amazing, talented, and most importantly incredibly hard working people. I am so honored to be a part of this group and am inspired every single day.

Jessica Smith